The west side of Cincinnati is just about the last place you might think to look for a diamond broker who collects classic cars and exotic musical instruments. But it's exactly where you'll find Dick Bacovin, a man with enough energy and vision to spend seven years restoring a Mercedes 1959 SL, a rare roadster sporting a convertible as well as hard top.

"I've probably owned as many as 20 collectible cars. Now I'm down to the cream of the crop: a 1966 Cadillac convertible, a 1978 Cad-illac, and a 1975 Cadillac limo." But Bacovin's pride is the Mercedes roadster, which won first place in the recent Concourse d'Elegance auto show in Ault Park as well as best of show.

The jeweler's musical instruments are equally tantalizing: a Brazilian rosewood 12-string guitar (it has been almost impossible to obtain Brazilian rosewood for more than 30 years now); an 1890s mandolin which he has restored with an ebony and albacore fingerboard; a remarkable Taylor Grand guitar; and violins, a cello and a double bass fiddle from Germany. His piano is one of only three like it in the United States.

When he's not working with his cars, Bacovin devotes his off-hours to his music, in the room he built in the rathskeller of his house in Ross. It's complete with a miniature set of drums for his grandson, as well as for Bacovin's own large collection of instruments. He keeps his Hammond B-3 organ there, too, a monster of a machine, so heavy it takes several men to move it.

"There's nothing like it," Dick Bacovin says of the B-3. In times past, "you'd hardly see a real band without a B-3. With all the electronic equipment they've got today, do you think anybody would lug one of these monsters around if they didn't have to?"

Dick Bacovin is not your average business owner. He has as many facets as the diamonds that run loosely through his fingers. A respected Harrison businessman, Bacovin is an award-winning gem designer and a good drummer to boot. (He joined Musicians' Local 1 at the age of 13.)

His store in the Harrison Town Plaza is not imposing. A line of trees shade the chalked-off parking spaces. The inside of the store has a showcase "” a counter, a mirror, some framed certificates. It's behind the curtains where things get interesting. In one room, Bacovin shows off some promotional glitter: It is shaped like a diamond, of course, and the words, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend," are spelled out in 430 stones which weigh about ten carats. It's certainly catchy, but the three-carat marquise ring next to it is impossible to ignore. Swirl it, and it flashes like a strobe light. "Light doesn't bend," the jeweler explains. "The more light you can refract, the more brilliant the stone."

Although he says that art deco and art nouveau are the most popular styles of jewelry, his own designs are surprisingly edgy and modern, quartz fused with an overlay of titanium, trimmed in 22k gold, all of it hand-crafted. He shows a gold necklace, so fragile it resembles a spider web. "When it's done," he says, "it will have 135 diamonds."

We move to another office, where a framed collage of pictures of Bacovin's musical days dominates the room. Here is the very young Dick Bacovin behind a full set of drums, his head slightly turned, his hair done in that puffy pompadour so many of the teenagers wore back in the day.

The razzle-dazzle faded when Bacovin got married and he realized the commitment that implied. His dad had a jewelry business, and he had been absorbing his father's knowledge without really thinking about it. For Bacovin, when the time came to "fall back on something," he was lucky enough to have an intriguing trade.

Later, after this interview, Dick Bacovin's family will gather in the music room in his house in Ross. His daughter has a gorgeous voice, bright, like a diamond. She likes to sing, he says.

A man like Dick Bacovin, an alchemist in the truest sense, holds these things close to him and cherishes them and finds the beauty and worth in them. For him, this is truly showtime.